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Last week I was at a frightening ½ day conference. No, it was not about the latest evidence of how climate change is destroying the planet. Nor did it have anything to do with the already ubiquitous 2016 Presidential election.

No this was a very well organized event at the House of Blues in Chicago, with good food (for a free event), nice atmosphere and great swag. The title of the program was “Locally Crafted Marketing Chicago: Turn Up Your Digital Marketing Plan”. Since you are reading this blog I hoped you noticed our newly updated website with a total new look and feel. This update has us revisiting our thoughts on how we digitally market, thus when the invite showed up in my inbox, we signed up.

The event was sponsored by some local partners of our friends at Google. During their time to present with us, is when things got scary for me. They talked about the “Internet of Things” and the “Internet of Me”. They told us to think in terms of “Hyper-Connectivity” and to think about “Multi-Screens”. And then finally think about the “micro moments”.

Micro Moments.

Wow, Micro Moments.

In other words, everything we own will be connected….we will (and their studies show many of us already are) be on multiple screens at the same time, most of the time. And that to reach this generation of leaders we need to use the micro moments that their attention span deals with.

And we all know this is true. Watch a sporting event on television. Notice how many fans, who paid a great deal of money to sit in the stands, do so all the while glued to their cellphones.

Even scarier, ever notice how many of our leaders are busy tweeting during a major address to the nation. And how many of us are watching on TV and tweeting back at the same time?

Have you ever been in a meeting that looked like this?     Ever tried to lead a meeting when this was going on?

cell_phones_at_meetings_by_marlenewhitecourt-d3cno2m

We all know we have, and if truth be told, most of us do this ourselves. We have convinced ourselves that every ping….ring….beep…and horn sound that comes from one of the three devices we have in front of us (or now are on our wrist) must be checked to make sure we do not miss anything. A study by Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers found the average user checks their phone nearer to 150 times per day. Assuming you are an average American who gets approximately 6.5 hours of sleep a night, this means you check your cellphone 8.6 times every hour….or about once every 7 minutes. And that is just your cellphone.

BTW, how many times have you checked your cellphone while reading this? Just saying.

So, how do we as leaders become more aware ourselves? How do we get our teams to be in this moment with us…with each other…with our clients?

Here are a few tips:

  • First agenda item to all meetings: TURN OFF ALL CELLPHONES. This will lower the temptation to “just take a quick peek”. I have heard of one company who at lunch meetings have everyone put their phones in a pile in the center of the table. First person to look at their phone…..BUYS LUNCH.
  • In your personal life, take “Cyber Sabbaticals”. Here is my friend Brad Feld about his experiences with Cyber Sabbaticals. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hp-rF9Qr7KU Get use to being disconnected. Even for just a day.
  • Slow down and take time to meditate each day. Dr. Chris writes about “Leadership Pause.” As counter-productive as it sounds, you get more done when you slow down AND you are more effective as well. The old Zen Proverb is true. “You should meditate for 10 minutes every day, except when you are too busy, then you should meditate for an hour.”  If you would like some help beginning this practice, follow this link to our resource page (www.q4-consulting/resources) and download the Mindfulness App.   Great way to get started.

Remember the simple truth spoken by the Dalai Lama, “There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called Yesterday and the other is called Tomorrow. Today is the right day to Love, Believe, Do and mostly Live.”